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Definitely a great fantasy epic and one of my personal favorites, The Chronicles Trilogy- Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, and Dragons of Spring Dawning, brings to life the ultimate battle between Good and Evil in the World of Krynn. The books are so incredibly well written that the reader feels that they have been transported to another plane of existence and are actually present among the characters, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel, sensing what they sense. The authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have truly outdone themselves and have presented us with a masterpiece of literature the likes of which we have seen only in JRR Tolkien's work and RA Salvatore's The Dark Elf and Icewind Dale trilogies. Duty, honor, bravery, magic, dragons and heroes are all about. A great trilogy indeed!
The Dragonlance Chronicles (recommended to me by a friend) were my first foray into the world (an entire realm in itself) of fantasy literature at the bookstore several years ago. I had no clue what I was getting myself into, but I purchased the books and, being an avid reader, immediately devoured the first book in the trilogy. I must say that I was completely blown away by Ms. Weis and Mr. Hickman. This world, these stories, and these characters are by far some of the most detailed, realistic and true to life characters- even if you have never met a dwarf. By reading the first few chapters alone, the descriptive powers of these two amazing authors make you feel like you've known the characters, their entire races' histories, and you can almost FEEL the tension in the air when the characters are in danger. A truly amazing read indeed, second only to Tolkien's works but only because Tolkien was more influential and came first. Think elves are little midgits who make toys? Don't know your dragons from your wyverns? Well this is a great place to start learning about the wonderful world of fantasy literature. You couldn't pick a better, easier to understand, yet complex story that is ultimately about human nature's frailty and it's wavering between good and evil, yet still holding much sway in the universe. Go buy this. Now.
I won't try to give an in-depth review of all three books, I've written one for the first and I'll get the next two reviews written shortly, if you really need my opinion :D
However, I bought all three books individually, and I paid half again as much as you'd pay getting this boxed set. This is a great bargain, and frankly you don't often see very good discounts on fantasy paperbacks.
I recommend all three of these novels, and the Twins Trilogy, and the Raistlin Chronicles. You are far better off buying the boxed set here than buying the books indivudually. The books won't disappoint, and the price can't be beat.
The Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy. Even though its a fanstasy book, this series has a unimaginable amount of unexpected twists. The books are great, really. The writing is solid and there is everything from broken hearts, betrayals up the ying yang, deaths of central characters (no, they don't come back to life with a resurrection spell), unexpect reunions, lost chances, regret, and falls from grace; all of which is set in a world of swords and magic and dragons. But the characters are more interesting than the swords, magic, and dragons could ever be.
I have to disagree with the comparisons to Tolkien's work. There are certain plot elements that are essential for any type of fantasy work, but you can't argue against the fact that the basic plotlines of these two trilogies are totally different: one is searching for something to help with a problem, the other has already found something and seeks destroy it in order to remedy the problems it brings. Maybe the reviewers just see simple similarities, such as larger parties being split, but that's something that happens in a lot of fantasies in order to keep it from becoming stagnant. Whether the authors may or may not have had inspiration from Tolkien, the story really is their own.
Anyway, this is an incredibly solid story that's about more than just dragons and swords. I recommend this to anyone looking for good books that stir the emotions. However, you may need to be over a certain age and have experienced certain events to really appreciate it. Go and read it!
This review focuses on this edition of the Dragonlance Chronicles and not the trilogy of books included in this collection.
If I was giving the Dragonlance Chronicles a review on the merits of the books, I would give it 4.5 stars--but this is at least the third time that publishers have released a version of the three books together and they have done nothing to improve the previous omnibus collections. Earlier editions had notes from the two authors--indeed, the annotated version of the Chronicles had detailed notes that gave a good deal of insight into the writing process (as well as too many ads for other Dragonlance books). This collection is a step back from the previous versions and readers who have loved Krynn and the Companions over the last two and a half decades will be disappointed by this version. After more than 25 years in print, the publishers could have--and should have--included new material such as notes or reflections from the authors.
As I noted, I would give the actual stories 4.5 stars. This is an epic adventure with characters that are generally well developed. Weiss and Hickman have their weaknesses as writers to be sure--they have too large a cast of characters (and so pivotal characters who are important at the start of the novels vanish towards the end), the first volume often seems more like a RPG session instead of a novel and the end is way too rushed. But, despite these flaws, they crafted a very satisfying fantasy world peopled by fascinating characters and important themes including friendship, family, love, good and evil and the restoration of faith.
I cheerfully recommend this book to new readers but there is no reason for veterans of Krynn to pick up this edition.